News Releases

10/31/2014: Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign Kicks Off

Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign Kicks Off

Posted 10/31/2014 9:29:35 AM

RALEIGH – Halloween festivities usually involve spooky tricks and sweet treats, but the scariest situations of all can often be found on North Carolina’s highways. Drunk drivers make a terrifying decision when they get behind the wheel and risk creating real-life nightmares for themselves and others. The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program remind drivers this Halloween that if you drink and drive, you could pay deadly consequences. “Nothing is scarier on Halloween than a drunk driver,” said GHSP Director Don Nail. “Those who decide to drive after drinking should know that they can’t hide behind a mask. Law enforcement officers are stepping up their patrols across the state and will catch anyone who doesn’t drive sober.” NCDOT and GHSP recommend following these simple tips for a safe Halloween:  • Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night. • Always designate a sober driver; even one drink is too many to get behind the wheel. • If you are drunk, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home. • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going. So far this year, there have been approximately 230 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 242 fatalities in North Carolina. Law enforcement officers across the state are working day and night to ensure that number does not rise during Halloween and throughout remainder of the year. The Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign runs from today, Oct. 31, through Sunday, Nov. 2.  ***NCDOT***
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10/17/2014: NCDOT to Emphasize Top Five Tips during National Teen Driver Safety Week

NCDOT to Emphasize Top Five Tips during National Teen Driver Safety Week

Posted 10/17/2014 4:12:15 PM

RALEIGH – Car crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in North Carolina. In an effort to save young lives, the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program are partnering during National Teen Driver Safety Week, which starts Sunday, to educate teens about the top five ways they can stay safe behind the wheel. “Teen drivers ages 16-20 comprise just 7 percent of the population in North Carolina, yet they accounted for 13 percent of all crashes and 9 percent of fatal crashes last year,” said GHSP Director Don Nail. “In order to bring those numbers down to zero, we ask parents to help emphasize our safety messages and teens to follow the rules of the road.” National Teen Driver Safety Week seeks to boost teen driver safety by challenging parents to engage their teens in ongoing discussion about critical driving practices that could prevent them from being involved in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “5 to Drive” campaign addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers. The “5 to Drive” rules are: 1.         No Drinking and Driving. 2.         Buckle Up. Every Seat. Every Time. 3.         Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. 4.         Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. 5.         No More than One Passenger at a Time. GHSP encourages teens and their parents to visit Safety City at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh to learn firsthand about driving safety and interact with many of the “5 to Drive” elements. At Safety City, fairgoers can tour GHSP’s Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit, ride in seatbelt convincers that simulate a crash at 5-7 mph, and see the aftermath of a distracted driving crash. Safety City is located behind Dorton Arena and open each day from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. All activities and materials are free of charge. In 2012, young drivers 16-20 years old were involved in 45,517 crashes in North Carolina. Young male drivers were involved in 53 percent of those crashes. Of the fatal crashes involving 16-20 year old drivers and passengers, 60 percent were not wearing their seatbelts, which is why GHSP reminds everyone that it is North Carolina law to buckle up – every seat, every time. National Teen Driver Safety Week begins Oct. 19 and runs through Oct. 25. For more information about it and NHTSA’s “5 to Drive” campaign, visit http://www.safercar.gov/parents/fivetodrive.htm.   ***NCDOT***
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9/19/2014: Child Passenger Safety Week Concludes with Seat Check Saturday

Child Passenger Safety Week Concludes with Seat Check Saturday

Posted 9/19/2014 2:56:36 PM

RALEIGH – Seat Check Saturday marks the conclusion of Child Passenger Safety week, and the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program remind parents there is still time to ensure your child is in the right child safety seat. On Saturday, Sept. 20, parents and caregivers can stop at one of 87 permanent checking stations across the state, where nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will check their car seats and booster seats to be sure they are properly installed and appropriate for the child’s age, weight and height. For a list of locations participating in Seat Check Saturday, as well as those offering seat check services year-round, visit BuckleUpNC.org.  Nationwide, vehicle crashes are the leading killer of children 1 to 13 years old . In 2013, more than 54,000 children under the age of 16 were involved in car crashes on North Carolina highways. Of the 36 children killed in those crashes, 25 percent were not secured in a child safety seat or wearing a seat belt. The North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law requires children younger than age 16 to be properly restrained in an age, weight and height appropriate restraint. To learn more about Child Passenger Safety Week and the state’s occupant restraint laws, visit the GHSP website or BuckleUpNC.org. ***NCDOT***
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9/16/2014: Nearly 2,800 DWI Arrests Made during Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign

Nearly 2,800 DWI Arrests Made during Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign

Posted 9/16/2014 2:19:00 PM

RALEIGH – The Labor Day holiday ushers in the start of school and football season, and signals the end of summer – marking a time many people decide to celebrate with alcohol. The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program worked closely with law enforcement officers statewide to keep drunk drivers off the road during the Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. Today, they announced that 2,757 people were arrested across North Carolina from Aug. 15 to Sept. 1 for making the life-threatening decision to drive after drinking. “Law enforcement continues to work hard day and night to make our roads safer,” said Don Nail, GHSP director. “Arresting an average of 153 drunk drivers a day is no small feat. However, our goal is zero; zero drunk drivers and zero drunk driving arrests.” The top five counties for DWI arrests during the Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign include: • Wake County with 316 DWI arrests; • Guilford County with 192 DWI arrests; • Mecklenburg County with 150 DWI arrests; • Robeson County with 113 DWI arrests; and • Forsyth County with 112 DWI arrests. In addition to DWI arrests, local and state law enforcement officers issued 102,209 traffic and criminal citations statewide at 9,642 checking stations and patrols. They also issued citations for 6,722 safety belt and 1,083 child passenger safety violations; 27,820 speeding violations; 604 work zone violations and 3,137 drug charges. In addition, they apprehended 2,874 fugitives from justice and recovered 217 stolen vehicles. For more information regarding “Booze It & Lose It” activities and county totals, contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2660 or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***
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8/15/2014: Governor’s Highway Safety Program Marks 20th Anniversary of “Booze It & Lose It”

Governor’s Highway Safety Program Marks 20th Anniversary of “Booze It & Lose It”

Posted 8/15/2014 4:14:11 PM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program today kicked off the Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign, which runs through Sept. 1. As part of the campaign’s launch, NCDOT and GHSP held a luncheon in Charlotte to recognize the 20th anniversary of “Booze It & Lose It” in North Carolina. Over the past two decades, the state has made great strides to save lives by increasing public awareness about the dangers of driving drunk and stepping up high visibility enforcement efforts to catch those who make the bad decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. “North Carolina has always tackled issues head on,” said GHSP Director Don Nail. “Twenty years ago, we knew our state had a problem with drinking and driving. We partnered with law enforcement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other government agencies to pool our resources to make a real difference. Getting drunk drivers off the road has been and will continue to be one of our top priorities.” GHSP started working with MADD in the 1980s to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, and reinforce the message that lives lost to drunk driving are 100 percent preventable. This team approach to improving safety gained momentum as GHSP partnered with former Gov. Jim Martin’s administration, MADD, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Forensics Test for Alcohol branch, the N.C. Department of Insurance, the Highway Safety Research Center, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement to combat the issue. Extraordinary cooperation and commitment resulted in the “Booze It & Lose It” initiative launching in North Carolina in 1994. Since the campaign’s inception, officers have arrested nearly 1.5 million drivers for driving while intoxicated. Despite increased enforcement efforts, 8,469 individuals lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes from 1994 to 2013. Despite two decades of education, awareness and enforcement, people are still making the life-threatening decision to drink and drive. Therefore, the “Booze It & Lose It” partners are constantly looking for new ways to catch drunk drivers and prevent crashes. In 1996, NC DHHS Forensics Test for Alcohol and GHSP launched the Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit. The BAT Mobile can go anywhere and assists law enforcement by providing the ability to test suspected impaired drivers on the scene. Today, there are six in operation with plans to expand the fleet in the near future. In addition to the BAT Mobile, DWI task forces are in operation in areas with the highest number of DWI-related deaths. There are currently nine DWI task forces across the state, located in the following counties, which are dedicated solely to getting drunk drivers off the roads: Forsyth;Guilford;Wake;Mecklenburg;Buncombe;Robeson;Columbus;New Hanover; andBrunswick. The public awareness and education component continues to evolve, as well. The data show males 18-34 are the top offenders when it comes to drunk driving. In an effort to reach this key population and change their behavior, NCDOT and GHSP have produced a new public service announcement that will begin running today on television and digital media. Non-traditional media will also play a significant role in spreading the word about the Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. GHSP is sharing its anti-drinking and driving messages on Pandora, Facebook and Twitter, as well in restaurants and bars with posters and coasters reminding patrons to have a designated driver. The Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign begins today, Aug. 15 and ends on Sept. 1. During that time, law enforcement officers will step up patrols statewide day and night, and cite those who make the decision to drive drunk. ***NCDOT***
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